Oklahoma State Senate
|Oklahoma State Senate|
|Term limits:||12 year cumulative total, in either or both chambers|
|2014 session start:||February 3, 2014|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Todd Lamb, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Mike Schulz, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Sean Burrage, (D)|
Democratic Party (8)
Republican Party (40)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art V, Oklahoma Constitution|
|Salary:||$38,400/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (24 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (24 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Oklahoma Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The composition of each district is outlined in the Oklahoma Constitution, Section V-9a, which states:
the nineteen most populous counties, as determined by the most recent Federal Decennial Census, shall constitute nineteen senatorial districts with one senator to be nominated and elected from each district; the fifty-eight less populous counties shall be joined into twenty-nine two-county districts with one senator to be nominated and elected from each of the two-county districts. 
As of December 2014, Oklahoma is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution establishes when the Oklahoma State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 26 of Article V states that the Legislature is to meet in regular session on the first Monday in February of each year, and it is to adjourn its regular session by the last Friday in May of each year. Additionally, Section 26 also states that the Legislature is to meet for organizational purposes on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in January of each odd-numbered year.
Section 27 of Article V contains the rules for convening special sessions of the Legislature. Section 27 allows a special session to be called by the Governor of Oklahoma or by a written call signed by two-thirds of the members of both legislative houses.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from February 3 through May 30.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from February 4 through May 31.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included changes to the state pension system and workers compensation funds, tax cuts, and increased funding for education.
In September 2013, the state legislature held a five-day special session where both houses reenacted a lawsuit reform bill. Republicans in the state legislature settled on 23 provisions with the effect of reestablishing key provisions of a 2009 lawsuit reform bill, which was struck down by the state Supreme Court in June 2013. The current Senate President Pro Temp Brian Bingman is a strong supporter of lawsuit reform.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from February 6 through May 25.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in session from February 7 through May 27. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Oklahoma was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2012
The signature filing deadline was April 13, 2012. The Primary election date was on June 26, 2012.
|2012 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma||$55,000|
|Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association||$50,350|
|Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists||$49,500|
|Oklahoma Medical Association||$47,500|
|Center for Legislative Excellence||$46,500|
|Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma||$45,300|
|Oklahoma State AFL-CIO||$44,000|
Oklahoma state senators are subject to term limits, and may not serve more than 12 years total in any chamber of the state legislature. In 2012, 2 state senators will be termed-out: Jim Wilson and Jonathan Nichols.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Oklahoma State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 7||Larry Boggs||7.7%||26,388||J. Paul Lane|
|District 3||Wayne Shaw||8.5%||24,715||Jim Bynum|
|District 39||Brian Crain||13.8%||33,416||Julie Hall|
|District 15||Rob Standridge||23.1%||30,530||Claudia Griffith|
|District 5||Jerry Ellis||33.1%||23,930||Howard Houchen|
|District 31||Don Barrington||35.6%||23,313||Tony Terrill|
|District 9||Earl Garrison||39.4%||24,667||Barney S Taylor|
|District 43||Corey Brooks||41.4%||29,731||Mike Fullerton|
|District 13||Susan Paddack||51.7%||26,161||Fred E Smith|
|District 41||Clark Jolley||58.8%||34,529||Richard Prawdzienski|
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2010
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 9, 2010. The primary election day was July 27, 2010.
The partisan breakdown of the senate before and after the election is as follows:
|Oklahoma State Senate|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
|2010 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Allen, Mark & Nikki||$105,155|
|Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma||$96,500|
|Allen, Mark Dean||$92,186|
|Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association||$66,500|
|Oklahoma Public Employees Association||$66,000|
|Working Oklahomans Alliance||$50,000|
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Oklahoma's State Senate were held in Oklahoma on November 4, 2008. A total of 24 seats were up for election.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 4, 2008. The primary election day was July 29, 2008.
|2008 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Adelson, Thomas (Tom)||$286,800|
|Lerblance, Richard C||$259,490|
|Sherrill, Kenneth Wayne||$156,607|
|Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma||$81,750|
|Mcclendon, Aubrey K||$67,500|
|Loveless, Kyle D||$59,205|
|Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists||$58,500|
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Oklahoma's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on July 25, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006. A total of 24 seats were up for election.
|2006 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Adelson, Thomas (Tom)||$288,700|
|Potts, Patricia J & Ray H||$190,960|
|Ivester, Thomas S||$170,000|
|Walters, Wayne Allen||$92,200|
|Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association||$90,500|
|Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association||$66,000|
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Oklahoma's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on July 27, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004. A total of 24 seats were up for election.
|2004 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Adelson, Thomas (Tom)||$281,000|
|Gilpin, Timothy S||$100,900|
|Gilpin, Timothy S||$100,500|
|Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association||$98,350|
|Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma||$88,700|
|Center for Legislative Excellence||$73,000|
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Oklahoma's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on September 17, 2002 and a general election on November 5, 2002. A total of 24 seats were up for election.
|2002 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Walker, James E||$63,796|
|Branan III, Clifford B||$60,052|
|Boatner, Roy A||$51,624|
|Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association||$47,600|
|Coates Jr, Harry Edward||$45,634|
|Oklahoma Republican Senatorial Cmte||$40,870|
|Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association||$38,250|
|Potts, Patricia J & Ray H||$35,100|
- See also: Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Oklahoma's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on August 22, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000. A total of 17 seats were up for election.
|2000 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|Oklahoma Republican Senatorial Cmte||$53,000|
|Democrats of the Oklahoma State Senate||$41,025|
|Working Oklahomans Alliance||$38,000|
|Oklahoma Republican Party||$36,426|
|Oklahoma State AFL-CIO||$33,200|
|House Republican Pac||$30,000|
|Association of Oklahoma General Contractors||$20,700|
|Transport Workers Union||$18,500|
Article 5, Section 17 of the Oklahoma Constitution states: Members of the Senate shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and members of the House of Representatives twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. They shall be qualified electors in their respective counties or districts and shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their term of office.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the senate, the Governor must call for a special election no later than 30 days after the vacancy happened. No special election can be called if the vacancy happens after March 1st during the year the seat is set to expire.
The only exception to the March 1st deadline is for Senators who resign with two or more years left in their term during an election year. If the resignation was announced before June 1st and the effective date is scheduled for after the general election, a special election can be called.
The person who wins the special election serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Oklahoma legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Oklahoma Term Limits Act in 1990. That initiative says that Oklahoma state legislators senators are subject to term limits of no more than twelve years in the Oklahoma State Legislature. These 12 years can be served in any combination of the Oklahoma Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
The first year that the term limits enacted in 1990 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2004.
- See also: Redistricting in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, the state legislature is in charge of redistricting. If the state legislature fails to agree on a map by its deadline, then redistricting becomes the responsibility of the Oklahoma Reapportionment Commission. Although the legislature is given latitude, Oklahoma laws regarding redistricting require that the cores of existing districts are maintained, other political subdivisions remain intact, 'communities of interest' should be respected and combined, and the state must explicitly comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act protecting the representation of minority populations.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oklahoma's population increased from 3.45 million to 3.75 million between 2000 and 2010. The population was densest around Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Growth rates were highest in the suburban and exurban areas surrounding these cities, while rural Oklahoma counties grew slowly or lost population. Of Oklahoma's 77 counties, 23 registered a drop in population between 2000 and 2010. The state's overall growth rate was 8.7 percent, which was below the national average of 9.7 percent, but not low enough to cost the state a Congressional seat, as occurred as a result of the 2000 Census.
Oklahoma officials received detailed Oklahoma results from the Census in February. The legislature formed steering committees in each chamber to draft the maps before the May 27, 2011 deadline. The House of Representatives completed its work relatively quickly, producing a map that avoided putting any incumbents in a district together by early May. Discussions in the Senate were more heated and partisan, and the Senate did not produce a map in mid-May. The House map was passed overwhelmingly in its initial vote, while the Senate encountered minority opposition. However, opposition eased on the second round of votes, and the Governor Mary Fallin signed the bills into law seven days before the deadline.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Oklahoma Legislature are paid $38,400/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive $147/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
When sworn in
Oklahoma legislators assume office November 17th.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of December 2014|
The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate, but has rarely presided over the senate session since the 1960's. The President Pro Tempore is chosen by the members of the Senate and acts as chief executive officer of the Senate. The majority and minority caucuses choose their leaders. As of January 4, 2011, the new senate had chosen its new leaders.
List of current members
The Oklahoma Senate has sixteen standing senate committees. They are:
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Business and Commerce
- General Government
- Health and Human Services
- Public Safety
- Tourism and Wildlife
- Veterans and Military Affairs
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Oklahoma State Senate for the first 15 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last five years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Oklahoma senate with all three years being Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Oklahoma state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the years of the study, Oklahoma had both Democratic and Republican trifectas. Its Democratic trifectas occurred from 1992-1994 and from 2003-2004. Its Republican trifectas occurred from 2011-2013. Oklahoma's SQLI ranking was in the bottom-10 for many years of the study, finishing 44th in 1994 at its lowest. In more recent years of the study, however, the state's ranking improved, finishing 31st in 2011 at its highest. Oklahoma's worst ranking occurred during a Democratic trifecta, and its best occurred during a Republican trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 41.80
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 31.50
- SQLI average with divided government: 40.64
- Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Section V-9A: Senatorial districts - Tenure
- Muskogee Phoenix, "State House Republicans unveil 2013 legislative agenda," February 1, 2013
- WatchDog.org "OK special session puts lawsuit reforms back in place," Accessed October 25, 2013
- 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- 2010 session dates for Oklahoma legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2006 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2002 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "Oklahoma State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions"
- Justia, "Oklahoma Statutes," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 26-12-106(A), Oklahoma Statutes)
- Justia, "Oklahoma Statutes," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 26-12-106(B), Oklahoma Statutes)
- Justia, "Oklahoma Statutes," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 26-12-105, Oklahoma Statutes)
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- U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Oklahoma Profile," 2011
- USA Today, "Oklahoma City, suburbs see 'significant growth'," February 18, 2011
- The Express-Star, "State's congressional representation to stay the same," March 7, 2011
- Tulsa Today, "Not Kumbaya, but close: House reapportionment headed to a peaceful end", May 10, 2011
- Tulsa World, "Redistricting draws criticism: One senator says lawmakers shouldn't be involved in the process", April 24, 2011
- News-Star "House redistricting moves forward, Senate plan stalls," May 10, 2011
- NewsOK, "State Senate releases maps for proposed districts", May 12, 2011
- Real Clear Politics "Fallin signs House, Senate redistricting bills," May 20, 2011
- The Oklahoman, "Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signs redistricting bills", May 21, 2011
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Oklahoma Senate Leadership
- Oklahoma Senate,"Standing Committees," retrieved March 27, 2013
State of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor and Inspector | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Wildlife Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Commissioner of Corporations |